Bedrock Quarry Products and Bulk Transport are increasing productivity with SPECTS, pioneering using Transport for NSW’s Safety, Productivity and Environment Construction Transport Scheme, known as SPECTS. The system has been devised to enable operators to be able to run new combinations without having to add the Intelligent Access Program to their trucks.
The SPECTS scheme is using a new process to get data about PBS truck movements to Transport for NSW, using the operators’ existing telematics system. The introduction of this rule change in 2019 has seen an increase in the number of operators getting involved in SPECTS, which had limited success when IAP was a requirement.
Only trucks involved in transporting construction materials with a Euro 5 engine, satellite tracking, with onboard mass monitoring and fitted with a number of safety features are eligible.
The innovation which has led to the dropping of the IAP requirement is known as Road Infrastructure Management, which is an application of the National Telematics Network and run by Transport Certification Australia.
“We are not actually interested in individual vehicle movements, Transport for NSW just wants to get a better handle on where vehicle activity is,” says Gavin Hill, General Manager at TCA. “Bedrock sends their data to us and we then de-identify it and produce reports for Transport for NSW. This is a trust mechanism and Transport for NSW have said to these operators that they know they are only willing to share their data as long it will not end up in the hands of a compliance agency.”
One of the things which Bedrock have led the way with is operating an A-double with triaxle dolly around metro Sydney. The truck runs Sydney to Marulan everyday and is capable of a 61 tonne payload on a truck running at 85.5 tonnes GCM. This is when it runs at HML on selected routes. The PBS permit specifies different areas whether the truck can run HML, CML or GML.
The deciding factor, as it often is in New South Wales, is the bridge capacities and how Roads and Maritime Services rate them according to the bridge engineers’ assessments.
“You look at something like the Mooney Mooney Bridge on the Freeway North of Sydney,” says Mick. “You look at it and you think, ‘new bridge, should be right’, but 79.5 tonnes maximum. That’s our biggest problem. We can still use our other A-doubles, with bogey/bogey trailers. But the tri-tri is our best option. It works so well. You can back it easily, you can do everything easily with it compared to the shorter trailers.”
“The top mass A-double set-up is on PBS needing Intelligent Access Program, including onboard mass monitoring. This makes deciding to start using something like this is a big investment, but it can reap big returns. It’s problems are the limitations on what it can do. It is worth it all of the time it can run at the top GCM of 85.5 tonnes. Currently it simply runs from the quarries into concrete plants where access for HML is allowed. and the Bedrock operation has enough of these runs to justify the expense.
Bedrock uses Sloanebuilt as its supplier of these trailer sets, fitted with Loadmass onboard mass monitoring equipment. The way the regulations work out, the tandem axle A-doubles are able to use the state road classifications for access and then need permits over the last mile, but with the triaxle A-double a permit is required for each route from end to end.
“When it comes to routes, we actually apply for everything,” says Mick. “The biggest problem now, with the RMS and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator is trying to get routes approved. When it first started, it was easy, you got an approval in a month or two. Some routes now, we have been waiting for nine months.